Recently I’ve been experiencing some stomach problems. The kind of problems that don’t seem too alarming — at least not at first — but are a nuisance and, while I’m able to cope, I wanted to fix sooner than later. Upside of having an upset stomach: I lost about 4 pounds last week. Downside: I became very familiar with the proximity to a bathroom at all hours of the day (and night). Not the healthiest way to lose weight, but an effective one nonetheless.
So I did the responsible thing — sought the opinion of an expert — and addressed the problem after it didn’t go away for five days.
Here’s where the story gets good.
Even if they don’t require anesthesia or sedatives, it turns out that some exams are fairly traumatic and require a few minutes afterward.
While at the gastroenterologist (GI doc) last week, I ran through my symptoms. Told him I hadn’t been out of the country, but did mention that I had one bite of a friend’s White Castle hamburger the other day (we got the drive-thru no less). It was apparent that I was dealing with a food-borne illness, or a parasite, versus something systemic and horrible — which was the good news. The bad news was that this doctor was thorough. Very, very thorough with his physical exam.
Having never gotten a rectal exam in my life, I figured it would be like the movies: quick and easy. Well, to say the least, it was neither quick nor easy. Most importantly, it was uncomfortable – and it took me about 10 minutes to fully recover. And here’s the thing: during those 10 minutes, the doctor was talking to me and I didn’t absorb a single word he said. I sat there, in a lot of discomfort, wondering where I could get a cup of water (and some chocolate). Good thing he essentially said, “You’re OK,” because had he had anything else to tell me, it would have gone in one ear and out the other.
The moral of the story is that if you go to the doctor, it’s a good idea to bring someone with you who can listen to the doctor while you recover from any tests or exams you may undergo. Even if they don’t require anesthesia or sedatives, it turns out that some exams are fairly traumatic and require a few minutes afterward. This is when your friend or family member can step up and go to work. Kind of makes me wish I had done that — at the time I could have also used a hug.
But, alas, it’s all behind me now. So to speak.